Santa Clara County Down Another CFO

CFOs are dropping like flies—well, not this Fly—over at the County of Santa Clara offices. Last Friday marked the final hurrah in the tenure of Dave McGrew, the chief financial officer of Valley Medical Center (VMC) since August 2011. Word is McGrew was placed on administrative leave a couple weeks prior to his sayonara. While McGrew trotted out the boilerplate goodbye in an email to staff, citing a need for more time with his family, his admin leave was not voluntary, according to sources in the county. David Claude, the director of general accounting, will take over as interim CFO, which means the county now has temps staffing its two most important finance positions. In August, County Executive Jeff Smith tried to demote finance director Vinod Sharma, who concocted several different stories about why his office neglected to catch George Shirakawa Jr.’s misuse of public funds while president of the Board of Supervisors. Smith wanted to place Sharma in a lesser role at VMC, but the cagey CFO lawyered up at the eleventh hour so he could stay in his cushy post a little longer while doing none of the work. Interim replacement Emily Harrison has assumed nearly all of Sharma’s duties. As a point of reference for McGrew’s ignominious exit, VMC eats up about half of Santa Clara County’s $4 billion-plus budget—the timing couldn’t be worse as VMC and the county work to implement Obamacare. “Obviously this is not something that we would plan or desire and it’s not good to have those two positions being filled on an interim basis,” Smith told Fly, before adding he’s confident Harrison and Claude are up to the task. But for anyone wondering when the county will gets its house in order and send Sharma packing, Smith said there’s “no good answer” on when the dispute will be resolved.

The Fly is a weekly column written by San Jose Inside staff that provides a behind-the-scenes look at local politics.

One Comment

  1. >VMC eats up half of Santa Clara County’s $4 billion budget.

    That’s $2 billion. Imagine the good that could be done in our valley with two billion dollars. But after political insiders, public “servants”, and greedy labor unions finish squabbling over our money like a bunch of vultures there’s nothing left but a picked clean carcass.

    Think VMC is a hotbed of of misspent public funds? It’s only a tiny molecule of a drop in the bucket compared to how much of our money will be robbed from us under Obamacare.